Friday, March 30, 2018

weights, bike, season review

Well, the indoor season is officially over and I didn't imagine at the time that the highlight of my season would have been my first race... and then all downhill from there. 

I finish with the #1 indoor M55 400m time in the USA - 57.02, #5 in the world.  Not too bad for an injury plagued season.  My 9th USATF 400m Championship race since '12... a total of 5 Gold, and 3 Silver.

My plantar issue is still there after 2 weeks.  Sore, but ok enough to exercise with weights, bike, etc... If I were forcing it, I could probably run, but I'm going to give it another week at least.  Despite some good work in the gym, I'm getting heavier and more out of '400m shape'.  There is no substitute for track intervals, but I have been in the gym 6 of the last 8 days.

I ordered a new shoe, the Hoka Napali which was supposed to be a lighter but an identical shoe to the Clifton 3.  It isn't.  It is just slightly narrower in the forefoot (2mm), so I sent it back and ordered another (my 4th pair) of Clifton 3s while I still can.  (The Clifton 4s are terrible).  I found some new Clifton 3s on ebay for just $95.  Of my present 3 pairs of Clifton 3s, one is worn out, one is ok so I use it for gym and street hills, and the other is still good for the track.  It's good to have 2 track worthy shoes.  And with the Clifton 3's coming obsolescence, I need to have a fresh pair.  Hoka has struggled to design a shoe as good as the Clifton 1, but has failed.  Some even compare the Clifton 1 to the $250 Nike 4% Vapor.   The new Hoka Elevon series has not been compared favorably with the Clifton 3.

2 x 15 single leg squats with 80 lbs each leg 
1 x 35 hip flexor machine with 150 lbs 
6 x 15 sec sprint intervals on bike with 45 sec rest 
chest machine, rows

more cross training

Been in the weight room 5 of past 7 days, today.


bike - sprint intervals 6 x 15 sec w/ 45 sec rest 
single leg squats - 1 x 15 w/ 80 lbs 
glute machine - 1 x 60 w/ 340 lbs 
adductors - 1 x 25 w/ 170 lbs
Hope to be back on the track in 7-8 days.  We'll see how it goes.

Monday, March 26, 2018

forward: upcoming season / goals

As I continue cross training and weights, no substitute for track workout but better than nothing, I'm trying to put down some goals, meets, etc.  Having goals is motivational and keeps a structure to my training.

I hope to try to do my first track workouts in 2 weeks, maybe the weekend after next 4/7 I'll give it a try.  My foot is recovering but far from normal.

My first possible meet, and I really won't be in shape for it, would be the Nashville Masters meet May 5.   It might give me an idea of where I am and how far I have to go.   Masters Outdoor Nationals are late this yr, weekend of July 28 ... 15+ weeks away.  In the meantime, there are a number of meets I could run in.  There's the Atlanta Relays, USATF Assoc. meet in GA, Senior Games, etc... Many of these meets are 'all ages events' ... which are pretty crazy with all the people, a lot of standing around and waiting.   Here's a sample of some options, not that I will run in all or any of these... but as I said, goals are good:

May 5 - Nashville Masters
May 26-27 - Atlanta Relays
June 2-3 - SE Masters Birmingham
June 8-9 - AL State Games - Huntsville
June 23-24 - TN State Finals
July 27-29 - USATF Masters Nationals


Weights tonight, 4th day in row in the gym:

Dynamic stretches
glute machine, each leg 
60 x 280 lbs 
50 x 325 lbs 
50 x 340 lbs

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Cross training

Tues, Fri, Sat., and Sun I've been cross training on the bike and lifting.  Generally doing hill and interval programs on the bike, stairmaster, and glute and hip flexor stuff with weights.  My butt is sore after the single squats: 2 x 15 w/ 80 lbs

If I hadn't run that 200m final at Indoor Nationals, I'd probably be well enough to race in the coming weeks, but that is now several weeks away and I'll miss the college season most likely.  No point in trying to run til I'm healthy.   No deadlines.  It still hurts to do heel raise and walk long distances.

I should be ok to do some hiking in about 2 weeks as it's almost wildflower season here in the South Cumberland.   I have a great life, but I'll truly miss the once a year opportunity to run a few spring outdoor college meets.  The outdoor college season is so short.  5-6 weeks.

Goals are important and I hope to be regularly training on the track by early May and racing by mid June.  Maybe Nationals in July.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

2018 USATF Masters Indoor Championships - day 3

I've been a little slow to write this post as the Indoor Nationals did not end well for me, finishing 4th in the 200m final and reinjuring my foot, and as I had said in my previous post, totally squandering what should have been an easy win in the 400m.   I scratched from the 60m day two race.

I really have been thinking a lot today about this, maybe too much.   Sometimes I ask myself, like on those 95º days in AL ... at some June association meet where I wait for hours to race, "how did I get myself into this?"

Satisfaction is hard to come by.  If I had won the 400m, I'd be ruminating about how slow my time was.   When I won the World 200m indoor last year, I was still kicking myself for losing the 400m.

Daegu was such a good meet, it reaffirmed my belief in myself that I could maintain my speed over the years.   But, as this season begins to look like a bust, I wonder if my best days are behind me.   I've had injuries before, so this isn't a new thing.  I lost the entire 2013 season to my broken metatarsal.

By any standard, it's been a good run since I won my first Nationals in '12.  Since then, I've raced 9 USATF National Championship 400m finals, won 5 Gold, 3 Silver.  Also, a World Gold, Silver, and two Bronze.  It's easy to get used to winning, not so much the opposite.  

Observing some of the races at the Nationals, you could see how important it was to some.  I saw a guy dive for a Bronze medal in the 800m, fall and hit his head on the rail and finish 4th.  I saw Mark W. also dive at the end of a 800, clearly way in front, hoping to set a record.  I also saw Oscar, in severe pain with sciatica win the M65 200m in a time way below what he usually runs.  Duanne injured a groin and had to pull out of the 200m.

Some great performances, John won the M50 400m by a huge margin, running 55.1 on that slow track.  I estimate that would have been 53 mid-high outdoor in good conditions.  Teammate Bruce won the M55 800m, I think his first individual medal at Nationals.  Those 400/800 performances are very hard earned.  I feel really happy for those guys.   Also, Sonya set another American record in the W45 1500m, and Leslie set a World Record in the W60 800m 2:36.

Writing this on Tuesday, the foot is about the same as it was when I injured it 6 weeks ago in Atlanta.  Sore to walk on.   I was feeling ok after the first 2 races, only minor soreness but with the draw of lane 2, it just put too much stress on my foot and I felt a pull on the second turn.  I was supposed to race the 4x400m relay soon afterward, I told the team I would but to check with me afterward.  I saw John standing there right after and said, "I can't do it, I reinjured my foot."  The casualty to this injury was that the GPTC 4x4 M50 B team would not get to run.  The A team with John, Ray, Bruce, and Scott won by such a huge margin that they nearly lapped the field.  The B team would have easily taken 2nd.  I felt bad about this.  Daryl, Wally didn't get to run.

The 200m Final
In lane 2, I knew I'd need to make my move on the second turn if I were going to catch Rob.  My start was ok despite a flinch, and I kept even with Rob in lane 3 down the back stretch.   Don was leading by at least a few steps and I really put the hammer down on the second turn pulling even with Rob, and coming off the turn, I was in second place by half a step when I felt something in my foot.  It hurt with every step but I was able to finish the race in a poor 26.3, missing a Bronze by 0.14.  Rob pulled away from me down the final stretch and got silver in 25.8.  Coming off the turn, I had a step or 2 on Brian who got Bronze, but he got me in the last 10m by a foot.   Maybe I should have made my move a bit later, not putting so much pressure on my foot on the turn, whatever.  I lost.
Home stretch of the M55 200m Final

The injury is not in the same part of my foot where it started, it's now on the outside of my foot.  If any indication of previous injury holds true, I may be able to start slow running in a week to 10 days.  We'll see.  The day it happened it felt bad enough to believe I might be out for the season.

Well, after my post race meal of sandwich and a large quantity of french fries (which I never usually eat) and a sedentary day of moping and eating bread... I'm happy that I'm still 146 lbs.   It shows the body can take a little abuse without gaining weight immediately.  What really sucks is that I'll likely miss the entire college season.  I doubt I'll be racing in Sewanee's home meet less than 4 weeks away.
What is embarrassing is my times.  People are who see this are going think, 'what happened to Yelverton'?   Some of the older wiser masters that punched their ticket to Landover, decided to come and not race because of injury or lack of fitness.  Lorraine, W55 AR holder in the 400m was a spectator, Robert T., said he wasn't fit and just ran the 4x200, Marcus came and competed although clearly not fit and taking the long view toward Spain.   Marcus was surprised to hear that I'm likely not considering going to Spain.  He was talking about going for an M55 world record in the 4x400, but I told him, we'd never get that record.  That record is by Collins, Allie, and company and we'd have to average 55 flat a leg.  No way.

I got a message from Jim saying, just wait and reevaluate, all is not lost.  I got a message from Alan who saw my times and said he knew something was wrong.  He also said he's been training on a Peloton bike and said if he we me, he wouldn't have gone to Nationals with this injury.  I really felt like I was almost over it.  He also suggested something I already knew: my training philosophy needs to change and encompass more quality work.  I can only do quality work like 50s and 150s when I'm 100% healthy.  He said I can still do weights, bike, pool and maybe try to aim for some meets in June.  I do need more lifting and strength work if I'm going to continue in this sport.   I've come to realize that without being an athlete with some goals, my life isn't as meaningful... so I'll endeavor to persevere.   It's great to have colleagues in this sport.

I returned my Brookstone foot massager and ordered a different one.  If I don't like it as much, I'll repurchase the Brookstone with a warranty.  Right now, my foot is too tender for massage, just doing the usual things, hot tub, Voltaren gel, self massage, and sling.

We'll see how it feels in a week.  In the meantime, I'll be back in the gym tonight for some weights and stretching, maybe some bike if I can tolerate it.  And, more coffee while I sit by the fire and wait for a possible late season snow tonight.   I'll keep on keeping on.

Here are some photos of the meet and friends.

400m start with Marcus (I think I got the jump)

With M50 400m Champ, John, W45 400m Champ, Emma, Inga, and Daryl

The peerless M90 Ed Cox - the only M90 who still uses starting blocks, no one comes close
The Peruvians: Roxanne and Lucho
The famous 'Peruvian chicken' at Sardi's.  Souvlaki is the Greek version of what they call 'spiedies' in upstate NY.  So lucky to have a hotel across the street from this place.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

2018 USATF Masters Indoor Championships - day 1

Not happy about my race today.  I had the opportunity for another National Title served up to me on a silver platter, and I generally blew it.  I can't believe this race was won in 57.9 and I couldn't even manage that.   I knew I wasn't in the best shape, with these foot issues, but I generally took my training seriously and put a lot of effort into it.  But, sometimes the result is just not commensurate with the pain and effort.  Perhaps this is the beginning of my downward slide.  James warned me of this, he said the time will come where we just can't do the same workouts, or run as fast.  I'm still stubborn to not accept that, although the foot injuries did not help.  After beginning the season with a 57 flat, then coming out and running a 58.5 today, after 2 more months of training, it's discouraging to say the least.  To get so much slower in just a year is really hard to fathom.

400m Silver Medal - 58.57

Yes, the track was slow compared to Vandy or a banked 200m track.  Generally about a second slower.  Still, I've run mid-low 57s on tracks like this, so maybe I'm not too far off.

I keep reminding myself of Gerhard's breakout performance as an M60 in Perth when he ran 55.05 / 24.65.  I just hope I have that in me if I can get healthy and train the way I need to.  But it may not be enough.  My zeal for competition probably has robbed me of some longevity in this sport and is taking a toll.  I think this is about my 105th meet since I started running Masters.   That's a lot.  53 college meets after age 50.

The Race
Humphreys, the guy that beat me today, I knew was capable, as he ran a 55.6 last yr outdoor, but he's 59 yrs old and he's never run under 58 indoor before today, and he didn't use blocks and had his knee taped.   So he was surprising.  Marcus was not in shape and didn't medal.

I felt a significant disadvantage in lane 6, running totally blind.   I went out fairly conservative in 27 for the first 200, but still easily won the break.  On the back stretch of the second 200, I relaxed a bit too much and looked around a bit.  I was really expecting Marcus to pass me, but he was no where.  I should have tried to build a lead at that point but I didn't and Humphreys tucked in behind me and passed me coming off the last turn.  I didn't rig up, I probably could have pushed it a bit more but I was seriously afraid of rigging hard like I did in my previous meet when I went out in 26.

I need to remind myself of 2014 when I went to Boston and competed in all 3 sprints and didn't medal.  I need to remind myself that the journey is important and winning isn't everything.

The age group below mine is particularly competitive, and I was happy to see John Curtis win his first National Title.  He ran an amazing 55.18 which on this track would be like running sub 54 outdoor.

I think I've been spoiled in that since '12, I've run in 9 National Championship 400m races, won 5 Gold and 3 Silver.  That's not a bad string.

This was a pretty weird day, my hotel went on lockdown with a domestic dispute that required a SWAT team and even rerouting traffic.  It was really crazy.  I did not leave my room after the police told me to go, if I had, I would have missed my race entirely.   One of my teammates Wally had that happen to him.

After my race I hung out at the track meet and talked with my track friends and watched the meet.  Afterward we went out to the Peruvian chicken place across the street and I ate an uncharacteristically huge meal.  I almost feel like I was giving up.  I seriously doubt I'll do much in the 200m and my hips and feet are hurting.   Definitely scratching from tomorrow's 60m race, so I have a day to recover.

My Peruvian friends, Roxanne and Lucho
Anyway, it's good to be here and see my track family.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

on my way

Update: my plane was pulled off the runway for a mechanical issue.  This significantly diminishes my chances for getting to the facility in time to try out the track and pick up my packet.  Will be delayed at least an hour, maybe 2.

Update 2.
Boarding a second plane. Was supposed to arrive 4:35,  will be lucky to get there by 6:35, track closes at 7, won't make it...but may have a shot at getting my packet before 8 when it closes.

Final Update:
After a wrong turn, I made it to the track 5 min before the desk closed, picked up my packet and even got a hasty light workout in on the track, but not in spikes.

The track is a nice surface, but the turns are tight and lanes are very narrow, seem like less than a meter.

Definitely feel the friction when sprinting the turns.  I think times should expect to be 1.1 sec slower than a banked track.  I have never run under 57 on a flat 200m track.  I think a 57 could win this, depending on who's in shape.

Glad I got this workout in, felt ok, just a hasty warmup and a slight sweat.
Hoka trainers on 
200m warmup, stretches 
50m strider 
2 x 60m from blocks 
100m, 150m from the 400m start
After finding my hotel, I found the most excellent food right across the street, a Peruvian chicken and fish place.  Wow.   Had just a grilled chicken breast and a salad, was tempted to eat more but I'm too heavy as it is.  Amazingly, after dinner Wed. night, I was pushing 148.  I'll probably race about 145.  Amazingly, I was 141.5 after some workouts last week.  Strange.

I'm fairly sure if I go out tomorrow in 26 flat, I'll rig in the end.  Might be better to aim for 26 high + 29.5 - 30.   This is no Albuquerque.  Kind of unfortunate since the Europeans are now logging times from their championships on banked tracks.

200m flat Mondo

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Day off

Just stretching, rolling, and some light resistance bands.  Travel to Nationals in Landover tomorrow. Coming in at 5, rush hour.  Going to wear my track stuff on the plane and hopefully do a shake out tomorrow on the competition track, hope to get there by the time it closes at 7 and pick up my packet.
Race Friday at 1pm.  Wow, 1219 registered competitors, one of the biggest ever Indoor Masters Nationals.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

shake out

At the MTSU track for a light workout.  50º, sunny, and windy.  Was a bit achy from the Sunday speed work so I did a long warmup, and a few light runs, didn't take off my sweats.
Hoka trainers on 
800m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 50m strides 
200m - 30 / 1 min rest / 100m on grass - 15 
100m stride on grass 
Felt really sluggish and achy in the feet and a bit in the hips when I started...  but felt better after the warmup, and will continue to heal over the next few days.  May go out tomorrow and do something similar.  Still don't feel like I did last year when I was rippin' 39 sec 300s a week before Daegu.  But it is what it is, 5 months of training this season and 8 yrs of masters track is taking a toll on my almost 58 yr old body.   Low expectations for Nationals.

145.5 lbs after workout.   Inexplicably heavy today, probably because of the big meal at the Mexican restaurant last night.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

speed and blocks

After yesterday off, I went to the track in Sewanee, 56º cloudy, light breeze.  Didn't want to do too much but I got the blocks out for the first time in a month.

Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 50m striders  
Puma spikes on 
3 x 50m from blocks 
200m event run from blocks (400m pace, beep start command, from 400m start) - 26.3 
100m event run from blocks (400m pace, beep start command, from 400m start) - 12.9 
Hoka trainers on 
100m event run from blocks (400m pace, beep start command, from 400m start) - 13.2 
3 x 100m w/ 30 sec rest - 14.5, 14, 15

Although the plantar issue in my left foot is very much improved, the right foot is an issue and I had to take off the spikes after a few sprints.  I hit my pace times for the 200 and 100 but, that's never been a problem.  It the last 200 that's the issue.  The starts felt a little clunky.  Tomorrow calls for cold weather, rain changing to snow.   I may take tomorrow off and do a little shake out Tues and Wed.  Leave Thurs for Nationals.

142.0 lbs after workout, surprising after a guitar festival paella party.

Friday, March 9, 2018

split 400 / hills

After a day off I hit the track today and brought my spikes.  56º, sunny and breezy at the Sewanee track.   Not sure what I wanted to do, feet weren't feeling great and I knew I didn't want to do too much.  So I put the spikes on, they felt ok.

Hoka trainers on
350m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m accelerations 
Puma spikes on 
300m - 41.2 / 1 min rest / 100m - 15 
Hoka trainers on 
200m hill sprints - 39, 41

I was pretty disappointed in my first outing in spikes in 4 weeks.  I'm simply no where near where I was last year.  Last year I was actually running 40 flat 300s and feeling like I still had some left in the tank.   Today, just over 41 and barely making it.  Based on what I ran today, I'd be hard pressed to break 58 on a 200m flat track.  I'm definitely not in 'championship' shape.  Not feeling really ready to race a 400m.

After the 300m, I went down to the steep part of Roarke's Cove Rd to run the hill.  It's a steep hill but it gets even steeper near the top, the last 50m is the steepest part.   And I really busted my ass.   The first hill sprint was hard, but the second one, about 5-6 minutes later was unbelievable.  I actually pushed to the point of failure about 2 or 3 steps from the top.  It was like lifting where you just can't do another rep.  I just collapsed in the road.  I couldn't even walk for a few minutes, my glutes were burning and I was aerobically maxed out.  I finally made it back to my car, went home and had a protein shake and sat in my hot tub.

I think it's a bit too late to do any serious conditioning workouts after today, but still want to run some hard 150's, do some starts, and maybe a 300m event run.  At least the left plantar issue has improved.  It's the right foot that is more the issue now.

142.5 lbs after workout.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

split 400

Dark and cold today in Sewanee, a return to winter.  It was supposed to clear up and get up to 40º but it didn't do either.  36º, cloudy and breezy at the Sewanee track.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 50m striders 
'split 400' - 300m - 41.3 (27, 14.3) / 1 min rest / 100m - 15
Last year I did two of these split 400s and 5x100m hills a week before Daegu.  The 300m was straight turn straight and I felt pretty tight toward the end, which doesn't bode well for a 400m.  I did run this one about the same time as I did last year but I feel this was greater effort.

Of course I wanted to do more but need to save the feet, and not much time.  I play a concert tomorrow and will take the day off, have a rehearsal tonight with a violinist.  Friday I have shopping, cleaning, and guests arriving late afternoon so hoping to get a brief workout in early afternoon.  A lot of multi tasking and will be glad to get this festival underway and my concert over with.  I'll be hosting guests for 5 nights beginning Friday.  They leave Wednesday and I leave for Nationals the next day.  Training weather looks ok except for rain Sat. afternoon - Sunday morning, about 50º.  Beginning Friday, I have 6 days before I leave, I will likely train lightly: Fri, Sun, Tues, Wed.

143.2 lbs after workout.  Good to eat bread again.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

3 x 200m tempo

Beautiful weather, 57º and sunny at the Sewanee track with a breeze.  Third consecutive day on the track.  Wanted to do more but kept it brief.  Tapering down now.
Hoka trainers on 
350m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 200m with 1 min rest - 28.5, 29, 30.5

Not much time today, and since it's the last warm day for a while, I really wanted to do more but now it's my right foot that is the limiting factor.  The left foot plantar issue is much better and I only feel it when accelerating off the line.  I've done zero work with blocks and spikes for a month.  Perhaps in my final tune up workouts next week.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Volume tempo

The past 2 years, 11 days out from Nationals, I've done a volume tempo workout.  Today was kind of a nasty day in Sewanee, but I've seen much worse.  About 50º with a light rain falling and a light wind.  I did as much as I could, not as much or as fast as previous years.  Good to get it done.
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
600, 600, 400, 300 w/ 3 min rest - 1:53.5, 2:00, 78, 54

My plantar issue seems to be improving so my limiting factor is now my right foot, which has the arthritic issue.  I felt like resting and going back out and doing a set of 200s like I had done in previous years, but between the foot and the weather, I called it quits after 1900m of work, particularly since I may be out there the next two days before taking Thurs off.  Weather looks good tomorrow, mid 50ºs and sunny.

142.3 lbs after workout.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

speed 300, 200s

Amazing day in Sewanee, mid 60ºs bright sunshine, light wind.   Definitely a shirtless training day.  I was a bit nervous for this workout because I wanted to run fast, and it went ok.  The last time I ran fast before the Dunamis meet, my foot didn't do well, this time was much  better.  Also, on my off day from the track, I did a light weight workout last night and one interval set on the bike.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills  
'split 400' - 300m - 41.5 (13.5, 14, 14) / rest 60 sec / 100m - 14.8 
2 x 200m - 25.8, 26 
150m - 19.5
I wanted to do the 300m close to race pace, but I was a half second short of goal, and I didn't call this an event run since this 300m was straight-turn-straight, not from the 400m start.  Still, a decent time.

I almost don't want to jinx myself by writing this, but I feel I'm almost over the hump on this plantar fasciitis thing.  My feet fared well through this workout and I'm even contemplating testing the waters by putting the spikes on, maybe Tues.  I do need some block work and some technique.   If anything, my right foot issue (talonivicular), what took me out for a week at xmas, I'm feeling as much as the left plantar right now, but it isn't bad.

I hope to be on the track in some measure the next 3 days before I taper off for Nationals and get busy on Thurs with my concert and the beginning of Guitar Festival.  The weather is going to return to colder more seasonable levels tomorrow 40ºs Monday, 50ºs Tues, and 30ºs a cold snap on Wed.  

Ate a lot of protein last night so the weight is a bit more normal, 142.8 lbs after workout.

Friday, March 2, 2018

tempo 300s, neg split 400

Good weather to suffer at the Sewanee track, except for the wind.  45º and clear with a north wind.

Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills
3 x 300, 200 w/ 2 min rest - 48.5, 50.5, 52, 35 
neg split 400m - 62.5 (32, 30.5) / rest 70 sec / 100m - 15

I was supposed to do a 4 x 300m with 2 min rest but I copped out 100m short.   A wind gust caught me coming off the turn and felt like it slowed me to zero ... and I was hurting so I bailed.  Felt bad about it, so went back and ran a split 500, 400m / rest 70 sec / then 100m.  I ran the first 200m easy then the last 200m hard on the 400m.

A good 1600m of sprints but still nothing fast.  I have to start doing some event runs and hard split 400s next week.  I have some free time through Wed so will try to get as much done as I can.

Foot holding up ok.  Still light, 141.5 lbs after workout.